Monday, May 11, 2009

Semi Final Pressure - Who Will Make It To The Finals?

The Olympian, the Sexy Hunk, the Girl Next Door, and the Battling Cowboy hit the floor for the Semi-Finals tonight! After 13 weeks of sacrifice, they’ve come too far to leave now! And it’s all LIVE! From Hollywood!

The Pros begin the evening with a dance. Louis VanAmstel, Karina Smirnoff, Dmitri Chaplin, and looks like Genya - but the two blonde females, I have no idea. It’s a great performance, choreographed by Louis.

The stars will be dancing both a ballroom and Latin dance tonight.

First up will be Melissa & Tony. They review their dances - talk about the Foxtrot, and learning her frame. Melissa said walking backwards was tough, and Tony commented that "Yes, difficult things are not difficult for you. Just the easy stuff. Like walking." Tony says that the Samba was the first time he felt Melissa knew what Latin dances were about. Funny, they don’t mention Melissa’s boob popping out a bit on the bottom of her top...saw it on the TiVo this time and it only peeked out at the bottom, no big deal. Tom laughs during the interview that their smiling teeth are very bright, cracking Tony up.

Gilles & Cheryl are next to be highlighted. They liked their Foxtrot also. Gilles loved the costume, "I felt pretty cool inside it. But to tell the truth, inside it I died three times and fainted twice." They talk about his "rise and fall" and how Len said he didn’t have it. Gilles said "He just had to pick on the Frenchy." Gilles loved the Paso Doble. Cheryl said making him begin the dance without a shirt made the dance memorable. Cheryl confessed doing some steps too fast, but Gilles said everyone was concentrating on their facial expressions and their passion of the dance. He said the hard part was to "kill Cheryl" at the end of the dance and she was reacting to his move and bounced her head on the floor. Tom interviews them saying that Cheryl has a tendency to be cranky as a teacher, but Gilles said that while it’s an unorthodox way of teaching, he doesn’t learn any other way. Gilles tells Cheryl not to change a thing, and Tom says "stay cranky." Gilles comes to her defense and says she’s not cranky, "She’s the boss."

Shawn & Mark are next, saying their breakthrough ballroom dance was the Quick Step. Shawn feels her personality really came out. They broke the rules with that dance by breaking their hold, but they won’t do it again so they can get into the finals. Shawn loved the Paso Doble, saying the character was the hardest thing to get into. Mark said trying to keep her from laughing was tough. She slapped him during one set of moves, and Mark said he had a hand print on his neck. Tonight they will be doing the "moody" Argentine Tango, so having done the Paso Doble character last week, Shawn is looking forward to being mean again - "But just here."

Ty & Chelsie talk about their ballroom dances, and Ty said they wouldn’t have been able to improve like they have without the Week 2 Quickstep. They came up from a 14 the first week to a 20, enough to stay in the competition. He had great posture and showed everyone how good it was. Chelsie said the Lindy Hop was their breakthrough dance. Ty said it’s the one dance he went out with confidence. He was able to do the lifts that a lot of other competitors couldn’t do, and Ty said that he got stronger because "I had to lift you over my head 3000 times in practice." Tom asked which dance he was most excited about, and Ty said both of them - and Tom tells him "That’s not what you said in rehearsal."

Leading off in the ballroom round is the woman who went from "Searing pain to perfection." Melissa & Tony are doing the Cha Cha and the Quickstep - and she’s got to work on her feet to make Len happy, so Tony is going to push her harder than ever. They did a neat Death Spiral at the end, and the whole dance was perky and fun. Len the "ballroom podiatrist" (according to Tom) starts the judging, saying it had great musicality, he loved it and her feet were much improved. Bruno said it was very, very good, but not as exhilarating and it could have been, and for the semi-finals, he needs more. Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno, saying she’s doing beautiful movements, but "it doesn’t give you joy to do it." She said there was space in the hold, and it was "pretty but not fun." Their scores: 9-10-9=28. After those comments, I’m surprised at the 9's. They’re ecstatic getting a 10 from Len.

Gilles & Cheryl are doing the Waltz and the Salsa this week. He’s practicing shaking his hips for the Samba, and Gilles said "Kim is gone, and someone has to shake their booty now, and I think it’s got to be me." Cheryl brought Jonathan in to help with the sophistication of the Waltz. Gilles liked that he was being taught the man’s role by a man. Jonathan tells him "To make the finals, all you need to do is remember to keep your frame, rotate your sides, rise and fall, keep your head up, stretch your neck, look at Cheryl, stretch your body, fill out the music - you’ll be fine." (Yeah, that's it. No problem!) Doesn’t seem like a lot of Waltzing in this one, more posturing and twirling. Don’t think Len’s gonna like this one! Cheryl seems pretty happy, though. Bruno leaps out of his chair, yelling "That is how you start the race for the final!" Soft of touch, irresistibly romantic. Carrie Ann says that people watch ballroom dancing because it takes them to a land of fantasy and "that was breathtaking." She compliments Cheryl on her choreography. Len gave them a "Sitting down standing ovation." (Okay, so I was wrong. That’s why they make the big bucks.) Gilles says backstage that Cheryl is taking him to places he’s never been before. He wants to show respect to everyone that puts a TV on. 10-10-10=30, a perfect score for the couple, and Gilles is happy to get the perfect 30 "for Cheryl."

We find out Kym and Maks will be dancing tomorrow night with Anna and Mayo - wonder if Maks will be a good boy, or give Anna some grief?

Shawn & Mark are going to stick to the rules this week. They’ll be doing the Jive and the Argentine Tango and the lifts are scaring Shawn, and they’re having major problems with them. Shawn looks really old doing this dance! They’re simulating a fight of passionate people (Mark probably screwed around on her and she wants to kill him, typical male.) It takes them awhile to do a lift, but they pull it off. Mark is doing more "flicking" than Shawn, but the dance looks pretty good, and he steals a kiss at the end. Carrie Ann says she worried about Shawn being the youngest competitor and delivering the emotional content, but "I’m silly because you delivered!" Len said she dances with a maturity he didn’t expect, and intensity. "It was honestly your best performance." Bruno comes out of his little world and says "What we have here is Catherine Zeta Shown." Shawn cracks up (I think he was saying "Shawn." That accent just kills me!) He compares her to the murderous Chicago routine: "He had it coming."

Clips are shown "Where our semi-finalists came from." Melissa has a Texas mentality, when things get tough you keep going. All Ty wanted to do was be a cowboy, he never played with toys. Shawn started walking before she was nine months old. Gilles’ father worked day and night in a bakery, and Gilles brought that work ethic to the dance floor.

After the commercial Shawn & Mark get their scores: 10-10-10=30. Shawn is jumping around, and Tom suggests that Samantha doesn’t want to jump around in her dress. (Yeah, there will be more popping boobs if she does).

Ty & Chelsie will finish off the ballroom round. Ty asks Chelsie "What do you think got us through - the fans or my spot-on Rumba?" (Cute, Ty). He takes Chelsie to ride a mechanical bull, telling her to stiffen up a bit because "You dancers are so fluid." Ty says that the Salsa is supposed to be a party but "It’s more like a pain in the ass with all the steps you gotta remember." Chelsie wants their Viennese Waltz to be the greatest ever. Ty says "My fans went out on a limb and kept me in over a better dancer" so he wants to justify their votes. The dance looks good, he’s got that great posture, but you can see some goofs and he messes up and gets really wobbly during a leg-lift move at the end of the dance. Len doesn’t think anyone has worked harder or struggled more. "There were a couple of little issues during that dance but overall I thought it was wonderful." Bruno said "We like you and I understand why America loves you." Bruno says his arms were like "chasing flies" and Len starts protesting. Carrie Ann loves how Ty gets the whole room generating support for him. "Tonight you struggled, and wobbled a bit on the turns." Len breaks in saying "he wobbled twice!" and argues with Carrie Ann who says they have to take off points for that, setting off a debate amongst the judges. Tom tells them "Down, kids." Their scores are predictable: 8-9-8=25.

Tom quips that the post-show dining will be "Three tables of one" for the judges.

We’re shown a clip of "Meeting the people who helped our stars get where they are today." Melissa’s family is in the audience every week. Her Mom says Melissa got frustrated easily when she didn’t get something on the first try. They show Melissa working with the Dallas Cheerleaders and then going through her engagement and breakup on national TV on "The Bachelor." (I missed the comment from Len in a past show when he said "The Bachelor’s loss is Dancing with the Stars’ gain." That was nice!)

Melissa & Tony come up to dance the Cha Cha. Her costume just sucks, it’s a sparkly bra and skirt with silver round spangles hanging off of it like Christmas decorations. The dance is pretty damn good, though, if you ask me! Bruno is up first with his critique, saying he likes his Cha Cha "Full thrust and full on." He says at times Melissa was sensational but at times she didn’t sustain the energy. Carrie Ann thanks Melissa for taking the correction from the last dance, saying she was much more emotional this time. But she agrees with Bruno, saying the size of her steps were "discombobulated." Len like it, but not as much as he was hoping to. "It’s not to the standard of your Samba." But, Melissa is a really good dancer. Backstage, Melissa thanks the fans for getting them this far. Their scores: 9-9-9=27. Can’t complain much about that! Total 55 out of 60.

Let’s see how Gilles grew up next. He is from Cannes in the south of France, the center of town "Where it was pretty tough." He explains that in France, men can be "romantic and emotional without shame." Gilles worked hard with his father, and he’s living the American dream. In Gilles & Cheryl's Salsa he seemed a little stiff to me (but again, I’ll probably be in outer space somewhere.) Cheryl’s dress is pretty interesting! Carrie Ann gives Gilles the yell, jumping out of her seat. "That’s Gilles Marini at his best." Len is almost speechless, saying "I wish I had an 11 paddle." Bruno had the best line of the season, though: "Lil’ Kim is alive and well and she’s living in your pants!" He agrees with Carrie Ann that he deserves to be in the Finals. Backstage, Gilles says that he wants to dance one more time with Cheryl and he hopes the fans keep him around. Their scores are perfect: 10-10-10=30, for an absolutely perfect total of 60 for the evening. (And again, proves that I have no clue what I’m talking about).

We’re shown where "Our gymnast learned to go for the gold." Shawn took the swings off the swingset and was flipping on the top as a child. Before the Olympics, her gym in Iowa flooded and the town worked to clean it up so she could keep practicing. Those dots on Shawn & Mark’s costumes are a little eye-boggling, and with her ponytails she looks like a kid again. She seems to get a little out of sync, but the end of their Jive is cute, they dance to the judges’ table and pull up spangly "10" paddles. Len says that the band is a great part of the show, with great music. He liked the feeling of the dance, it was fun, but there was "Too much messing about dancing." Bruno likes it "when you go wild." He thinks it looked like a Lindy Hop at times, but Shawn "sold it 110%." Carrie Ann loves how Shawn has come along in the performance of the dances, but maybe she lost a little steam. Shawn is asked to tell the fans why she should stick around, and she says they worked hard. Their scores: 9-8-9=26, getting a 56 for the evening. Len gets booed heartily for his score.

Ty & Chelsie are finishing the evening, but we see where Ty’s roots are. He was a pretty cute little kid in his cowboy hat and chaps! He told his dad at 3 years old that Dad didn’t need to hang on to Ty's belt while he was riding on calves. Ty said that dancing wasn’t his thing, but he was going to give it all he had. Jewel said that "What you see on Monday nights is the man I married - very macho, but also very sweet." Now they will dance the Samba - and his hips still don’t move well. He looks like he’s having a great time, though! He stops and jiggles his ass during a moment, and gets big cheers from the audience. Bruno says Ty has resilience and determination and "Threw everything but the kitchen sink in there." Carrie Ann votes Ty most valuable player of Season 8. Len says "In the ballroom dances you’re like Arthur Murray, but in the Latin dances you’re like Murray in a hurry." Len does compliment Chelsie, saying she’s done a fantastic job. Samantha asks Ty to tell his fans something, and he says he doesn’t want to let them down. Their scores: 8-7-8=23, and a total of 48 out of 60.

After the judges’ scores, here are the rankings:
60 -Gilles & Cheryl
56 - Shawn & Mark
55 - Melissa & Tony
48 - Ty & Chelsie

Of course, I don’t see anyone but Ty (nice as he is) going home tomorrow, but hey, some weird stuff has happened on this show! Did everyone vote? We’ll see who gets a shot at the Mirrorball Trophy tomorrow night!

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WARNING: Big Brother Spoilers!

We watch the current season of Big Brother on CBS, Big Brother After Dark, and the Feeds. We watch all Big Brother 18 coverage and DVR it and watch it again. There will be posts about things we have seen from watching Big Brother 24/7. If you are a casual viewer of the CBS show-only or do not want to read any spoilers, do not read our posts dealing with After Dark and the Live Feeds.